By TambaBorbor (PR/Marketing Officer WHH- SLE 1079)
WHH SLE 1079 Head of Project- Feras Hussein facilitating the training session at Kenema City Council Hall while the Group focuses on the details provided.
With a proven determination to positively change the waste management trajectory of Kenema and the other three cities under its new project called: “Promotion of Sustainable Waste Management Structures in Sierra Leone”, Welthungerhilfe (WHH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), has concluded a two-day training for a group of four persons to develop a Waste Management Plan for the Kenema City Council (KCC).
The training commenced on Thursday 17th and ended on Friday 18th February 2022 at the Kenema City Council Hall.
Speaking during the start of the training, the Chief Administrator of the KCC- Joseph G.T. Gando thanked WHH for a comprehensive presentation which he noted shows the situation of the Council in terms of effective management of waste. He said that demand has always outweighed supply in managing waste; adding that the previous WHH project created such a situation.
He went on to maintain that the issue of waste management should be considered a security threat to be treated with utmost seriousness.
Gando stated qualified human resources and proper resource mobilization are key in ensuring effective management of waste in any municipality in addition to appropriate equipment.
The Chief Administrator of the KCC went on to state that community awareness-raising, coordination is vital in any waste management plan in addition to paying heed to traditional underpinnings and customs.
Threats from two nearby streams around the Kenema city, Gando stated must be seriously considered in the plan as they have always posed a threat to waste management; noting that non-enforcement of byelaws and review of existing ones must be looked at with utmost seriousness.
He further noted that a sustainable path to affected management of municipal waste is the way to go other than donor dependence.
“Involving us to develop a waste management plan for our Council is invaluable and I assure that this plan would stand the test of time,” Gando stated; adding that the KCC prioritizes waste as “the people cannot forgive us if we cannot clean the Central Business District (CBD).”
He further thanked WHH for the support through the matching fund approach in repairing the vehicles and other machinery of the KCC used for waste management.
“What we are about to develop would be workable as the stakeholders are part of it,” Chief Administrator Gando assured.
Feras Hussein, Head of Project of WHH SLE 1079 in his training presentation asked about the current state of waste management in the Kenema municipality while giving a general overview of the project’s objectives.
Mr. Hussein outlined the structure of the waste management plan- from generation, collection to transportation and disposal; adding that fees collection and resource mobilization are key to sustaining a waste management process including commitment at the governmental level.
He noted that developing and enactment of relevant laws are paramount to ensure successful implementation.
“I believe in you and Sierra Leone to take the challenge in terms of effective waste management for the benefit of the people in the communities,” Feras Hussein maintained.
Mr. Kallon, the District Health Superintendent of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation stated that political will is lacking in addition to the relevant laws on waste management. He emphasized that developing such a plan for effectively managing waste is important.
The outgoing District Health Superintendent of Kenema- Mr. Musa highlighted that the present landfill site of Kenema City “is an advanced dumpsite and not functioning properly as an ideal landfill.”
The Team comprising the Chief Administrator of KCC, the Environment and Social Officer, District Health Superintendent and the outgoing Superintendent, has been given ten (10) working days to come up with a workable document that would be acceptable and stand the test of time. The objective is developing a Waste Management Plan with support from WHH is geared towards having a roadmap with a scope of four years to effectively address and champion the increasing challenge of managing waste in the municipalities that the project is currently implemented.